CEO newsletter

Reflections on 2023: Datapharm and Pharma’s key moments

Jan 11, 2024

As we leave behind an eventful year, Datapharm’s CEO, Rich Cooper, reflects on the developments the company has been making in 2023.

Rich Cooper 
CEO, Datapharm

2023 saw Datapharm grow considerably in size (we have now moved into our new larger office), adopt innovative technologies and communicate with a more global audience. Read on for a reflection on our key developments in 2023, and a hint at what Datapharm customers can look forward to.

Launch of the new emc website

Nearly a year ago, we launched the new emc website. On the surface, there are some obvious reasons, such as improved navigation and much improved support for mobile devices.

But there is a much bigger reason underlying the move to the updated version of emc. Medicines information on emc is now based on FHIR. This means this information is structured in a way that other healthcare systems will be able to interpret and exchange it when the industry adopts a standard ePI.

We’re glad to be at the forefront of the progress being made here, and will continue to support customers as these innovative developments impact Pharma’s product information in the coming months and years.


What we learned about Pharma and ePI

It was a real pleasure to welcome Datapharm customers at our annual customer meeting, a first for me since joining the company last year.

Our theme for the behind-closed-doors event was Influencing patient safety through the distribution of ePI. Our Principal Architect, Philippe Michiels, gave his expert insight into what ePI is and the benefits which we foresee for patient outcomes, as well as Pharma processes.

We also hosted our first roundtable topics, and it was great to see so many Pharma peers (including Regulatory Affairs, Compliance and PV) taking part in a very well-attended ePI discussion.

What we have noticed is that ePI can carry a different meaning and context to UK compliance functions compared with developers and data strategy functions who are looking at the new ePI standard on a global level.

Of course, there is obvious interest in how ePI will affect the submission of medicines information in future – it is an emerging discussion, so we encourage our Pharma peers to get involved in this important conversation and engage with each other, the industry stakeholders and providers such as Datapharm. We will also continue to keep you informed and provide our insight on the developments happening on a global healthcare level, and on the innovative enhancements which relate to your services with us.


Our newfound B Corp status: Purpose beyond profit

Back in the summer when the UK weather was just about on our side, Datapharm took up the opportunity to clear out Himalayan Balsams and clear waste at Pierrepont Farm. It was a fun day with some valuable learnings about our natural ecosystem, but it was also part of a larger purpose for us as a company.

Beyond the commercial business, we want to make a real difference to people, communities and the planet. This is why we took our journey to become a Certified B Corporation, and we are delighted to have now taken this very significant step.

We also invite our Pharma peers to join this growing global community of B Corps. We found our journey to becoming B Corp certified to be an extremely valuable process. And, other than being great for the environment and community, it will help you to build greater trust with your consumers, communities and suppliers, as well as being an even more attractive place to work for talented job seekers.


Partnerships: Bringing together expertise which will benefit Pharma in the long run

From what we’ve been hearing, there is greater motivation within the Pharma industry to work together and engage more with other industry stakeholders. Included in this are Pharma companies, regulators, membership associations and technology providers, and I’m pleased to see many of these organisations (Datapharm included) be more vocal.

Much of this motivation comes from the need to adopt more innovative processes, reduce duplication of efforts and combine our individual areas of expertise towards improving patient outcomes.

We have placed a big focus on working together with other industry stakeholders, including some new partnerships, and will continue to invest our time and resources in these. During February-August we collaborated with Original Digital and MILE on the successful SRD pilot, which we are excited to be bringing to the Pharma industry now that the service has gone into full production this year.

We also joined EMIG, the HDA, AIMp and PAGB as associate members – these steps should be welcome news for Pharma companies as they can each bring unique benefits. Becoming a PAGB associate member means we can now contribute more to the association’s strategic priorities, and more openly share our insights about patient engagement on emc. Our involvement with the HDA has some potentially game-changing implications for Pharma functions involved in managing product information throughout the supply chain.

A simplified yet more comprehensive product suite

If 2023 was the year of keeping things simpler, then we’d like to continue that in 2024. There is a breadth of available tools to support Pharma’s information processes, but you have little time to research all of these and learn whether they are relevant to you.

We brought all our emc products into easier-to-understand solutions, each of which are relevant to specific Pharma functions. Other than making life simpler for customers, it ensures we are able to focus on improvements which are most relevant to the functions they are provided for.


Meeting Pharma peers face-to-face

After a slow start for people returning to in-person events, on the whole, we are comfortably back to meeting each other outside of virtual meetings (as well as in them). We’re really glad to be meeting our Pharma peers in a physical space again, and appreciate the importance of meaningful learnings and conversations which are a unique benefit of meeting face-to-face.

Asides from our annual customer meeting as mentioned above, a few of the events we were involved in last year include: Reuters Customer Engagement Europe, DIA Europe, the Drug Safety Congress, the Pharmacy Show and an HL7 FHIR Connectathon. In 2024 we will be having a much larger presence across a range of different conferences and events both in the UK and globally.

Our roundtable discussion at Reuters Customer Engagement Europe showed us the importance of having more in-depth discussions with our Pharma peers and what insights Medical Information and Commercial functions will find most valuable. Speaking to emc’s end users, HCPs, has also given us crucial learnings to take into 2024.

Continuing to be involved in these relevant industry events supports our role as a vital touchpoint between all these different functions within the healthcare ecosystem, who all have a vested interest in making medicines information more effective, accessible and engaging.


The year ahead: keep focussed and maintain effective dialogue

It might seem overwhelming with so much happening in a number of different spheres which all affect the industry, from Code changes, to AI developments to new data standards. In a time like this, it’s even more important to remain focussed on the things that impact your work most, now and in the future.

As always, we are here to support you with the management and distribution of your medicines information while remaining compliant, and improving HCP and patient engagement - if you have a question regarding any of the themes above, make sure to reach out to us.

Lastly, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year - I hope you had plentiful rest and are feeling refreshed for the year ahead.

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